Keeping Lenox Safe Committee Group hopes to make a difference

November 12, 2019, 7:37 am
Kevin Weedmark

Lenox Nosterud at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon on Friday, November 8, where he is undergoing treatment for Leukemia.

With eight-year-old Lenox Nosterud undergoing treatments for Leukemia at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, friends in Moosomin are working hard to ensure that he will be safe when he returns home.

His treatments will leave him with a compromised immune system, so the group wants to do what they can to make it safer for him, through education, providing hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of germs, and encouraging vaccinations.

On October 22, Lenox, the son of Devin and Teshia Nosterud of Moosomin, was diagnosed with Leukemia and is currently undergoing treatments right now.

The Keeping Lenox Safe committee is made up of Lindsey Miller, Samantha McGonigal, Ryan May, Cole Raiwet, Michelle Wushke, Summer Heide and Jeannie Skulmoski.

The group says their aim “is to develop growth and education for people within the community. Through education, the members of our community will know and understand what Leukemia is and what it does to a person. Our responsibility as active members in this community is to help those that are weak and in need of that help.

“The method of achieving the aim is by using education as a tool to help keep Lenox safe through such tasks as washing hands thoroughly, how to properly cover faces when there is a cough, and to keep the herd immunity within the community by getting vaccinations and flu shots regularly.”

The group is planning an online auction to help fund some of its goals. Donations for the auction can be dropped off at Conexus Credit Union or the World-Spectator in Moosomin, or people can contact Lindsey Miller at 306-434-6776 or Samantha McGonigal at 306-435-6054 to have an item picked up.

How did the group come together?

“There were lots of people coming up, because they knew that we are close with them, and asking what can we do? We were thinking about doing a big benefit, but Teshia said they feel they raised a lot through the GoFundMe,”says Samantha McGonigal, one of the organizers.

The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $28,000.

“When she came home, she planned to do some work around keeping Lenox safe, so we thought since there are so many people that want to help, why don’t we take care of that for them,” McGonigal adds.

“It just takes that stress of the financial off Teshia and Devin by them not being responsible for a bunch more money coming in,” says Lindsey Miller, another organizer.

“The response to the GoFundMe page was absolutely amazing and there was such a great outpouring of support from that. Our aim is to let those people who maybe don’t have that extra money to throw onto a GoFundMe page to feel that they can help too, maybe by making a quilt and donating a quilt so that we can auction that off, so they can be involved in supporting this as well.”

The group has been in contact with Canadian Blood Services and hopes to be able to set up a blood donor clinic in Moosomin.

Education will be a big part of what the group hopes to accomplish.

“We want to educate people and let them know how his immune system is going to be compromised. He cannot be vaccinated for four to five years,” said McGonigal.

“That is going to be the biggest struggle when he gets back—just maintaining his health afterwards,” adds Miller.
“Those infections that you and I could get, and get over them in a couple of days, with him it could really, really set him back.”

Online Auction

Donations for the silent auction will be accepted until Monday, November 25 and the online auction will begin Monday, November 29.

Donations already received for the online auction include Winnipeg Jets tickets, box seat tickets for a Rider game next season, and box seat tickets for the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Show of support

The group is also working on a plan to create beanies so that classmates can wear beanies on Lenox’s first day back as a show of support.

“Personally, as somebody who has been in that situation when you do have a sick family member, it comes down to just knowing that you have support,” says Miller.

“Yes, the money definitely helps with everything, but just knowing how that community support is there— knowing they are backing you up during these times is much more rewarding. It’s absolutely important to know that you have the community behind you. That gives you strength. That keeps you pushing. Knowing my dad and what he went through and just having the community backing him up—it holds you up.

“So that is our main goal—just to let the Nosteruds know that they are loved in our community. We want to make sure that they know we are all here for them and we are going to keep them strong during these times because there are going to be times that they will be feeling super defeated and weak, and when you know you have those people there, behind you 100 per cent, it just builds you up.

“It just comes down to community support more than anything, and awareness for our community so people know the effects that Leukemia can have on a person. They don’t realize their little sneezes and sniffles that they don’t think anything about could be dangerous to a child who has suppressed immunity, and that can be very, very scary in some ways for that family, I’m sure. You get your child healthy from one thing and then you have so many other things to worry about afterwards, so they have to worry about his health, that you and me take for granted every day.”